HOSTAGE LOADS

Just like auto shops can put a lean on your car and contractors can put a lean on your house for nonpayment for services. Moving companies can hold your stuff as collateral. State approved contracts normally state that you must pay for your move before the truck is unloaded. This is standard procedure. Failure to pay for your move could result is your stuff being hulled to storage at your expense. You could be charged for your move, the move to the company???s storage warehouse, the move back to your house and the costs of storage. If you refuse, you could forfeit your stuff. Because this is a civil matter you could take them to court, but the police will not help. ??If you call the police they will say ??”The movers have a signed contract and this is a civil matter”.

Quality moving companies have a reputation to protect. The “fly by nights” don’t. The “Name changes” could care less about BBB complaints. The “Bait and switchers” could care less about internet reviews.

KHOU TV out of Houston did a report-in 2001 about a clever moving scam. The bait, $39 per hour including shrink wrap, 2 men, the truck, everything. The ad was on Craig???s List. The Company name was a quality moving company with a BBB rating and a professional website linked to the Craig???s List ad. The number however went to the crook???s cell phone. On move day two professional looking movers showed up on time from a different company. “The company that you booked with had a truck break down, we are covering the move for them. We normally do not do $39 hourly???s but we will honor the contract. Please sign here.”

You are happy, before your mover told you they could not make it they got another moving company to cover your move. On time, fast, the right price. Well it turns out that shrink wrapping is $90 per item, and they are wrapping everything. You are presented a much higher bill at the drop off. Payment is demanded in cash before the unload. The KHOU TV/BBB undercover investigations showed the scammers charge $900 just for shrink wrap, on one move. It was in the contract: pay before unload and $90 per item to shrink wrap. Folks saw their $39.99 per hour moves, jump to $1200, $1700 and $2300 according the news report.

Anyone can post a Craig???s List ad and link it to a quality company. Call the moving company to ask a few questions about your move and confirm your move date. If they have never heard of you, you know you are about to be the victim of a scam.

Poor quality movers are notorious for dramatically increasing move prices on move day, once all your stuff is already on their moving truck. Poor quality movers get a lot of business from internet brokers.

CBS news reported in 2015 that one in ten moves will report that their furniture was held hostage. The Movers demanding more money.

Avoid scams, research the moving company. Avoid misunderstandings, review and understand what is included in your moving quote, and move contract.

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About Jack Grant

I got my start in the moving industry as a driver for a budget apartment mover. I owned my own one ton pick-up truck, or should I say, Bank of America owned the truck. It was a hot summer and I made ok money. It didn???t take long before I started having problems with this company. Nothing affected me directly, not at first. I showed up at 6 am, hitched my truck to a trailer, picked up my move tickets for the day, and kept to myself. Then I started having problems with the way the company treated its customers, as well as, some of its movers. There were days I was overbooked, and could not get to all the jobs on time. There was also moves that were underbooked. Customers were given a low price just to get their business, then on move day they would be over charged on additional items that they wanted moved. I would arrive at a $600 move, call in the additional furniture only to find the move price to be doubled, but there didn???t seem to be twice the amount of items. The real problem I saw from the customer's point of view was what kind of crew they got. It was the luck of the draw. I considered myself to be a professional, treating the customers??? furniture with the same respect that I would want to receive if I was the one being moved. It seemed that they would hire anyone that could pull their trailers; no experience, no background checks, no drug tests, no English, no ethics???no problem. I started to feel out of place. I remember that one of their drivers lost a trailer on the highway. The budget apartment mover tried to make him pay for all the damages, even though it was a worn out trailer hitch that was to blame. The equipment was not properly maintained. After three months pulling for the budget apartment mover, I resigned and went to work for a local independent moving company. The trailers were well maintained, as well as, the moving equipment. The quality of the movers was a lot better too. I worked there as a driver for a little over three years. In 2001 my friend started a moving company, a new kind of moving company. A moving company with upfront pricing, an instant online quoting system, and online testimonials. In 2001, no one that I knew had an online message board for folks to post their comments or an actual instant online quoting system. Email forums were all that was used and is still the standard in most moving companies to this day. ???We will get most of our business from repeat customers and referrals if we set the benchmark for quality,??? he told me. I started at MoveCo.net as a driver in spring 2001, just in time for the moving season. Soon I was running packing crews, and doing onsite bids as well. MoveCo did not have a sales force; the drivers did all the in-home estimates; Having the actual driver do the bid eliminated lots of misunderstandings. I became proficient at everything from crating nine foot sailfish, to moving grand pianos. I was able to see the country, moving folks coast to coast. I have met a lot of interesting and good people along the way. MoveCo.net is proof a good deal of stress and all the horror stories can be eliminated with fair pricing, quality service, and no misunderstandings. MoveCo started adding box trucks to the fleet early on. Box trucks were more capable and I always felt gave a better image. I started going to the industry conference and discovered there really is a wide range of moving companies and service levels. The budget apartment movers might be a step up from a guy and a rental truck off craigslist, but on the other end of the spectrum you have the National Van Lines and top notch independents. In the moving business you are only as a good as your reputation. MoveCo has built that reputation over the last 15 years. I am proud to be a part of the MoveCo family. I hope you find this information in this blog useful. I may not be a professional writer, but I am a professional mover with over 18 year???s experience.